M. Carolina Brandi, The history of brain drain

The “brain drain” phenomenon has a long history. In 1963, the Royal Society defined “brain drain” the exodus of British scientists to USA, seriously jeopardizing the British economy, but this term eventually became of common use to describe the emigrations of scholars and professionals from the Third Word countries. Because of these migrations, the investments made by these countries on the formations of their nationals were used by the developed countries: the results was an unjust technological aid to the richer countries by the poorer ones. This concept of “reverse technological transfer” was developed by the United Nation Conference on Trades and Development on 1972. After the end of the Soviet Union and of the Warsaw Treaty in the last decade of the past century, an huge brain drain started from the Eastern European countries; at the same time, a serious risk of brain waste is present nowadays , since not all the migrants are able to find a job at the level of their skill. A number of scholars suggested that it is now more appropriate to define the high skilled migrations as “brain mobility” and not as “brain drain”, since, to date, the Word economy is largely dominated the free circulation of capitals, merchandise and job. However, many others are still convinced that the concept of “brain drain” is still valid, mainly in case of migrations of highskilled workers from  Third Word countries  to the North.


Sveva Avveduto, M. Carolina Brandi, The high qualified migrations in Italy

The paper analyses the evolution of high qualified migrations in Italy since the relevance of this phenomenon has been remarkable. Using the Istat figures of migration movements of population, the authors examine the in-flux and out-flux of high qualified  migrants in Italy – i.e., those holding a graduate degree. The analysis highlights the net loss of the Country due to the exceeding number of expatriates on those who come back.  An in-depht analysis is provided, using AIRE figures. Breakdowns by regions and country of destinations  of high qualified Italian migrants are presented. The number of these migrants in  recent years reached some thousands and it is increasing every year. The number of graduates leaving Italy is as well exceeding the number of Italian graduates that come back. The paper presents also the analysis of mobility of university  students referring to both foreign students in Italy and Italian students abroad.


Enrico Todisco, Flavia Cristaldi, Claudia Cariani, Giovanna Tattolo, Skilled migration: a gender perspective. The case of Italian migrant women in Switzerland

Studies on women in skilled migration are rather few. Trying to answer to the question if the migrating high skilled women are competitive with the local skilled women, we implemented a field research among Italian female migrants in Switzerland, who entered in high positions in research, professions, public or private management, international tasks. We reached about 100 women and we got the information trough a questionnaire. Main results of the study are presented concerning the way of insertion in the present job, the condition in the workplace, the role inside the family, possibilities of career advancement. Discriminations  are indicated not with respect to the equal local women but to the men. The Switzerland society is strongly masculine and women are yet exluded from easy access to high positions in firms, organization, institutes, Universities. Some considerations appeared on the likeliness of return plans to Italy.


M. Carolina Brandi, Loredana Cerbara, Foreign researchers in Italy: push and pull factors

We present the analysis of the data gathered by a survey of the foreign presence in the Italian public research institutions, trying to understand the actual push and pull factors that originate such a flow from abroad. Our analysis demonstrates that these institutes are securely connected to the international circuit of scientists. The Italian scientific institutes are chosen as a place for the completion of research training by many young academics from EU countries, particularly from France, Germany and Spain, all of which have a long history of strong cultural links with Italy. In addition, the Italian institutes absorb a significant inflow of mature academics from East European countries and from a number of countries outside Europe, Even so, since the number of foreign researchers intending to settle down on a permanent basis or for a long period in Italy is low, we cannot claim that Italy has yet become a country that attracts a significant brain drain flux, not even from less economically developed countries. On a more general level, our analysis shows that the professional pull factors (i.e. the scientific prestige of the host institution and the availability of high level scientific facilities), when a reasonable salary level is guaranteed, is the most important reason of the mobility of scientists, while the possibility of career development seem to be less attractive. This is a key difference with respect to the general case of skilled migrations. Furthermore, we found that the migrations of the researchers are mainly driven by the presence of international scientific networks, while in general the skilled migrations are usually channelled by intermediation agencies.


Sveva Avveduto, The mobility of high-qualified migrants in Europe, Canada and the United States

After a  brief analysis of the European situation of human resources for science and technology, the paper focuses on qualified migrations towards the two principal poles of attraction: United States and Canada. Both Countries present a strong tradition as destinations of immigration from Europe but in the last 30-40 years the quantity of migrants’ flows from European Union countries has reduced, while the quality of such migrants, in terms of educational qualifications, has increased. The paper analyses the situation of Italian high qualified immigration in the two Countries as compared to the total immigration from European Union. Both temporary and permanent migration flows are considered as well as, whenever possible, occupation typologies. This analysis can contribute to the evaluation of the European role (and the role of Italy in particular) to the development of high qualified personnel and therefore to the overall innovation performance of the receiving countries.


Corrado Bonifazi, Skilled migrations in Australia during the Nineties

Australia has traditionally attracted permanent settlers from abroad and actively pursued pro-immigration policies throughout its history. In recent years due to a decisive shift towards a policy that favours higl-skilled immigrants, decision-makers are now anxious to determine how well immigration policy is doing at achieving the desired results.  At the same time, they are trying to keep track of the outflow of qualified Australians to other developed economies, and thus draw up a “trade balance” of skilled migration. This double effort reflects a basic political resolve to safeguard and enhance the strength of the Australian economy so that the country may remain a competitive player in the process of globalisation. The paper is an attempt to evaluate size and characteristics of the skilled migration in Australia during the Nineties. Indeed, the case of Australia clearly demonstrates the extent and complexity of the migration phenomenon and its ramifications, and highlights the importance of developing a proper focus on skilled migration in official statistics.


Stefano Boffo, Fabio Di Pietro, The brain drain of scientists and engineers: the French case

The paper presents the analysis of brain drain and temporary migration of intellectual capital to and from France. Although it has not been possible to make a complete picture of flows, due to the lack of reliable figures, the paper examines the main characteristics and dimensions of the migration  flows of scientists, engineers and enterpreneurs towards the Anglo-saxon countries  still the most attractive area of destination . After a short analysis of the French research system, this paper discusses the difference between the present and  past migration flows, underlining the choices of the young professionals generation. A section is devoted to the study of the reasons behind the outward flows - mainly towards Anglo-saxon Countries-  and the inward ones  - mainly due to study committments of high qualified human resources coming in large part from Northern Africa. Some strategies aimed at decreasing the brain drain from France are presented and discussed.


Piero Dell’Anno, Germany between brain drain and brain gain

The migration of skilled individuals – or brain drain – is often considered a negative phenomenon for the economy of the country left behind. Only in the recent past theorists have started to analyze spillovers of the brain drain in the left economy and defined models of long-distance cooperation amongst scientists. Complexity theory has been brought into the analysis of the brain drain and into the building of international scientific networks which are aimed at reducing its negative impact. While scholarly research is  moving on, policy-makers are lagging behind; Europe needs ideas and interventions to reduce the drain and to exploit the knowledge and experience of those European scientists working overseas. This article is a survey of empirical work conducted in Germany on the international mobility of highly qualified workers, researchers and scientists. The essay examines the reasons that have determined the departure of German scientists and researchers, the reasons for staying over beyond the accomplishment of post-doctoral qualification and the nature of brain drain and brain gain of highly qualified workers that is currently affecting German society.


João Peixoto, Immigration of highly qualified workers in Portugal

The paper presents the main lines of highly skilled immigration, looking into its origins and the first significant presence of highly skilled foreigners in Portugal. Concerning scientific mobility, the author assumes that a large part of the outflows are temporary and shows how Portugal benefits of a net migration gain. Concerning emigration, although the information are limited, the volume of flows seems to be residual. Outflows seem relatively more temporary and less company-related than inflows. Inflows present diverse characteristics: the ones from EU are the more company-related and, probably, more temporary. In general, immigration results from the need of accompanying foreign direct investment. “Independent” inflows, such as the ones coming from Brazil and resulting from the permanence of African students, are examined as they represent a sort of brain drain benefiting Portugal. In the future, everything points to an increase of flows both inwards and outwards. Areas of concern to Portugal are presented, such as the possible lack of capacity to attract the best talents, or the difficulty to assure the return of the more  talented Portuguese that left the country.


M. Carolina Brandi, The policies of high skill immigration in receiving countries

This paper presents a survey of the policies concerning the high skill immigrations in the countries that are more interested by this peculiar migration fluxes, and shortly examines how they are changing in the last three years (mainly in the USA). The increasing role of the human capital in the economic growth has actually pushed up the demand of skilled work in all the OECD countries. At the same time, the improved level of the tertiary formation in many intermediate development countries produces an increasing number of specialists that do not easily find an adequate job in their home countries and that are thus available for international mobility, searching for higher salaries and better job conditions. In the last fifteen years, the increasing demand for information and communication technologies specialists, as well as for doctors and nurses, in the labor market of USA, Canada, Australia, Japan and in many countries of the European Union brought these countries to  incentivate the temporary and permanent immigration of these skilled migrants. However, the Twin Towers terrorist attack of 2001 has produced a change in the attitude concerning immigration in the USA. If the present, very restrictive, rules concerning the foreigners will last for long time in this country, we can expect a drastic change in the directions of the high skill migration fluxes.